April 3, 2013 / 2:24 PM / in 5 years

Obama to attend George W. Bush presidential library opening

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama will join all four living former U.S. presidents at ceremonies marking the opening of George W. Bush’s presidential library later this month, the White House said on Wednesday.

It will mark the first time since January 2009 that the so-called “presidents club” has gotten together. Obama and former presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton will gather in Dallas at Southern Methodist University for the younger Bush’s event on April 25.

Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush (L-R), then president-elect Barack Obama, then President George W. Bush, former President Bill Clinton and former President Jimmy Carter meet in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington in this January 7, 2009 file photo. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/Files

Obama will attend the library opening with his wife, Michelle. Clinton will be joined by his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Bush, who had a health scare in December, will be with wife Barbara.

The rare gathering of Obama and his predecessors will be a powerful symbol of American democracy, but it also brings together what can best be described as strange bedfellows.

Obama won the election in 2008 by campaigning hard against Bush’s economic record, the same tactic that Clinton used to defeat the elder Bush in the 1992 campaign.

And Carter, who was president from 1977 to 1983, is lambasted still today by Republicans for presiding over a tepid economy.

Reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Vicki Allen

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